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From the President Binghamton University will hire about 250 new tenure-track faculty members between 2012 and 2017, with a net growth of about 150. To capitalize on this rare opportunity, we have decided to focus a significant portion of our hiring in what we’re calling Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence. We hope to produce useful technology, answer big questions and, yes, create jobs. In the process, we will engage the entire campus in the excitement of innovation and discovery. We’re investing in five critical areas of research and scholarship: n Citizenship, n Health

n Material n Smart

rights and cultural belonging

sciences and visual worlds


n Sustainable


Tackling issues of central importance to our nation, from developing cheaper solar power to treating chronic infections more effectively, will pay dividends for the campus and for society. In this issue of Binghamton Research, you’ll learn about physicist Bruce

White’s plan to turn waste heat into a significant source of electricity. We hope to bring you many more such “hot” ideas in the future. Indeed, the Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence initiative is part of a larger effort designed to transform Binghamton from the premier public university in the Northeast to the premier public university of the 21st century. We’re constructing world-class research and development facilities and building capacity for additional students to participate in research and scholarly work. The University is also expanding its role in economic development by collaborating on the development of a high-technology start-up incubator in downtown Binghamton as well as through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up New York initiative. Harvey Stenger

From the Vice President for Research

In this issue of Binghamton Research, you’ll see that faculty members here are capitalizing on Big Data’s potential to improve hospital care, inform urban planning and develop more accurate predictions of natural

disasters. The mountain of metrics they’ve tapped into will yield new ways of keeping patients healthy, smoothing the flow of traffic in big cities and minimizing the loss of life and property during floods. Given Binghamton University’s reputation for all things “green,” I am also pleased to say that we’re finding ways to reduce the amount of energy required to crunch this data. My own research career has been motivated by a desire to make a transformational impact on society, and these projects are on track to do just that. A boom town atmosphere surrounds Big Data these days, and it’s exciting to see Binghamton innovators prospecting for solutions. Bahgat Sammakia


Binghamton University • BINGHAMTON RESEARCH • Winter 2014

Nearly every facet of our lives could be transformed by Big Data in the next decade. This digital bonanza is already shaping how we shop, what we see on television and even which medicines our doctors prescribe. It has important implications for business, government, security and privacy, too.

Binghamton University / Research Magazine / Winter 2014  

In this issue of Binghamton Research, you’ll see how Binghamton University faculty members are capitalizing on Big Data’s potential to impro...

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